Answer: They are all in the business of having their customers promote their brand for them.
The clothing industry has been implementing this secret for years; make the name on the clothes and the person wearing them the product. Then customers wear the clothes and you’ve essentially created a walking billboard, which is worth more than any TV spot or magazine ad you can think of.
Since then companies such as YouTube, Myspace, Facebook, Digg, Technorati as well as a dozen or more other companies have taken these branding tactics one step farther and made their brands something that the consumer can take part in and actually form as they use the product. This has created a landslide trend that is invading the internet. These sites are designed to promote themselves and grow as customers use them. In fact, avid participation of posting pics, discussing music, sharing info with friends, and updating statuses is required of users in order for them reap the full benefits of these online networks.
Today in a blog post (When Is Too New Just Right), John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing, introduced me to a midget MySpace spawn called Twitter. It is by far the most conceptually simple site that I have seen develop from this latest internet development. The whole idea of the site is to keep others updated with what you are doing. You can’t create a simpler idea for continuously connecting customers with your brand.